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Category Archives: Family

My youngest son is an engineer who paints as a hobby.  This is his most recent painting in acrylic of my father and his dog, ca. 1915, using an old photograph as reference.

I always loved the original photo and love the painting even more.  I always thought of the picture showing a boy and his dog, but the painting seems to show a dog and a boy.  I think the way the dog is painted is masterful.

My grandfather is holding the very substantial chain and my mother told me that once she was crying about losing a dog and Grandpa said, “Marthy, I was always told it was bad luck to cry after a dog, but I cried when Old Blue died.”  We know that Grandpa named all of his hunting dogs Blue, but I like to think that the one he loved so much is the one in this picture.

 


mothercarMy mother was born 100 years ago today:  Martha Evelyn Mount born on November 28, 1916, in Morrow, Ohio.  Passed away on July 31, 1991.

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My mother’s 100th birthday will be this November (Martha Evelyn Mount, born November 28, 1916, in Morrow, Ohio and passed away on July 31, 1991).  When she was 72 in 1989, she made a taped recording of family stories for both sides of the family.  In her honor, and still incredulous that she sat and dictated all of this into a tape recorder by herself, I’m going to post what she wrote along with pictures whenever possible.  She had a rather rambling, random method and said whatever came to her mind at that moment, punctuated by hearty laughing.   I’ll post the stories in the order she told them and will only edit the posts to keep out anything that might be offensive or embarrassing to other members of the family.

8/89 – Family Stories Tape by Martha Applegate
Transcribed 5/19/01 by Lillian – notes in parenthesis by Lillian

INSTALLMENT 12

I used to love to go and visit my Aunt Hettie (Hettie Conover Gillis) – she lived on a farm and I had one cousin one year older than me and one, one year younger (Alberta or Roberta and Mildred Gillis), so we made a good group.  We would play in the barn – oh, I loved that old barn and I still love old barns to this day.  I can just imagine I can smell that hay and those cows being milked.  We’d play in the hay mow and we’d play all kind of things.  We’d put on shows and we’d put on everything and I love an old barn – there’s just something about that.

Belle Baker (Belle Hutchinson) used to live up on the hill where the funeral home is now – the big funeral home just before you go into Morrow.  She used to call for me to come up there when they had pears and I used to climb up these wooden steps that were all broken to go up there and get pears.  I used to love to go there – she had the biggest cookie jar and always would give you the biggest cookies – she was my father’s aunt – my grandmother’s sister – and her sister and her husband lived there – Aunt Becky (Hutchinson) and Uncle Warren (Warren Brunson).  They didn’t have any children and I used to love to go and visit with them.  They were real old at that time and Aunt Becky always had a little clay pipe in her mouth turned upside-down.  They’re buried up in Morrow and I always remembered their grave – I loved that little old couple.

Alice Mae (Mount – Mother’s older sister) had it kind of rough.  She was a good little housekeeper and she had to take care of the little ones while Mom worked but we would always go to her if we wanted to do anything – we’d always ask her first.

Grandma school closeAlice Mae, ca 1925

Gr Helen and daughterAlice Mae and Mom (Helen), ca 1925

And I’m scared to death to be closed up in anything – I can’t stand ….any kind of a meeting or church or anything like that where they close the door and I can’t get out.  My sister told me the reason for that is one time my mother was sick and my father had to get someone to take care of her and the woman put us in a cupboard and shut the door on us – shut us up in that cupboard – and my sister would say – she was just 3 years older than me – I guess I must have been about 3 and her about 6, I don’t know – no, not that old ‘cause my father wasn’t dead yet – but she’d say, “Oh, we’re not going to get out and we’re scared, she’s not going to let us out” and to this day I can’t stand to have a door closed on me.

I had a very happy childhood – lived in Morrow and in the summertime the carnivals would come through and I loved when Bartone’s Tent Show would come through.  We’d go to all those tent shows and then we’d go home and we’d act out those shows.  Every once in a while down in the town square they’d have what they called the Punch and Judy Show and they would sell medicine.  They would put on this Punch and Judy act and I don’t know, it seems like there was something nice going on all the time.  We’d go to church on Sunday and I just had a very happy childhood all the way ‘round.

 

Epilogue:

Although each of my parents came from a troubled childhood and married when they were teenagers, they were determined to give my sister and me a stable family life and they did.  My father gave up the horse business and worked first on the WPA, then for the City of Cincinnati, for Dayton Acme during the last part of World War II, and then as a self-taught television repairman.  After I graduated from high school, he returned to the horse business he loved and stayed involved with that until he died on the track at the end of a race in 1978.

John A -family 1941 - CopyThe Applegates – Johnny, Martha,

Lillian and Shirley, 1943

Mother was the perfect stay-at-home Mom until my sister and I were grown.  She then went on to a long career and retirement from Shillito’s, a large Cincinnati department store.

MotherStoryA_0001Mother with her new White sewing machine in 1954.

She was wearing a dress she had just made – we thought the matching ruffles on the gloves were a nice touch.

In her 60s and 70s Mother finally got to dance as much as she wanted when she took round dance and square dance lessons and danced right up to the last months of her battle with breast cancer in 1991.

Mother died on July 31, 1991, and I sat under a clear blue sky in the back yard and wrote in my journal:

Mother went dancing today with her skirts swirling and petticoats flouncing, her golden red hair in perfect order and wearing her matching shoes and earrings.  She was smiling and light on her feet, happy at last to be able to promenade and do-si-do and twirl and swing.  She barely glanced back at the rest of us still struggling with our affairs.  She was going dancing!

Mother-memorial - CopyMother, ca 1981

This concludes my mother’s taped family stories from 1989.  It was the best gift she could have left for me.

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My mother’s 100th birthday will be this November (Martha Evelyn Mount, born November 28, 1916, in Morrow, Ohio and passed away on July 31, 1991).  When she was 72 in 1989, she made a taped recording of family stories for both sides of the family.  In her honor, and still incredulous that she sat and dictated all of this into a tape recorder by herself, I’m going to post what she wrote along with pictures whenever possible.  She had a rather rambling, random method and said whatever came to her mind at that moment, punctuated by hearty laughing.   I’ll post the stories in the order she told them and will only edit the posts to keep out anything that might be offensive or embarrassing to other members of the family.

8/89 – Family Stories Tape by Martha Applegate
Transcribed 5/19/01 by Lillian – notes in parenthesis by Lillian

Installment 11

Ralph - 4 yrsRalph Mount, age 4 years

Don’t remember too much about my brother (Ralph Mount) – he was so much older than me but I remember he always had a car and I remember when I was little he had an old car.  I remember we were going over to Ft. Ancient and the durned old thing couldn’t make the hill and we had to get out and he put rocks behind the wheels and we had to walk up the hill so he could drive up the hill.

But he would take us for rides and he took us over to show us that big meteor or whatever it was that fell over there between Morrow and Lebanon  – a great big rock that was as big as a building.  Now, it’s  way down, it’s really small now but it’s still there.  He used to write stories – I think that’s where Nancy (my daughter, Nancy Breen) gets it – they were good stories, he could write real well and used to write stories and then he decided when he was about 18 or so he was going to be a magician.  And he was good at that.  He had me and my girlfriend – we used to put on little skits and sing songs and we’d sing Ramona, I can remember singing Ramona.  The only funny part was I always dressed like the little girl and sang alto and she dressed like the boy and sang soprano – that was kind of an odd mixture.  He belonged to the Juniors and he’d have us come over and he’d put on his magic act and we’d put on our little skit, but then he got married about that time and Hazel (Hazel Wilson) didn’t care for the magician part of it – she broke that up.

MotherStoryA_0001 (2)Ralph Mount, ca 1925

As long as I can remember I’ve always loved to dance.  My girlfriend and her mother liked to go to dances and she’d take us and we’d get out there on that floor – I was only about 10 years old – and we’d Charleston and we would dance and I’d go home and I’d wind up that old Victrola and put on records and I taught everybody around how to dance.  I taught Alice Mae (Mother’s older sister) and her girl friends, they’d come in and get me to teach them how to dance.  Alice Mae never could dance and she’d get so mad because I could teach them how to dance.  I guess I still love to dance to this day – I guess you never lose that.

Mom was good to us and she done very good – done as good as she could – she’d take in washings and do everything.  We were very poor but we always had nice holidays – nice Christmas and Thanksgiving and we always had good things – she’d see to that.  I remember one time when I was real little, the day before Thanksgiving the Ku Klux Klan came in – oh, it scared us all to death – they were all dressed in white with pointy hats and all you could see were their eyes, but they had a great big basket of, oh, everything – turkey and the whole bit – and we were scared to death but we didn’t even know them, of course, but we kind of suspected it was our next door neighbor because we’d be out of coal and Mom would say, “Just go down and see if you can scrape up some coal dust or
something to burn – just enough to get supper with” – we’d be out of coal, and we’d go down and that coal bin would be full of coal and we always kind of suspected the neighbor of putting it in there.  The Ku Klux might not have done any good but they were good to us.

Mother-Mable-AM-GM (4)Mom (Helen Conover) in her garden

Next time – the final installment of Mother’s stories.

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My mother’s 100th birthday will be this November (Martha Evelyn Mount, born November 28, 1916, in Morrow, Ohio and passed away on July 31, 1991).  When she was 72 in 1989, she made a taped recording of family stories for both sides of the family.  In her honor, and still incredulous that she sat and dictated all of this into a tape recorder by herself, I’m going to post what she wrote along with pictures whenever possible.  She had a rather rambling, random method and said whatever came to her mind at that moment, punctuated by hearty laughing.   I’ll post the stories in the order she told them and will only edit the posts to keep out anything that might be offensive or embarrassing to other members of the family.

8/89 – Family Stories Tape by Martha Applegate
Transcribed 5/19/01 by Lillian – notes in parenthesis by Lillian

Mother-Mable-AM-GM (3)Friend Virginia and Mother (Martha Mount)

Wearing necklaces made of buckeyes

One time, I had a little friend named Virginia and she was crippled because she had infantile paralysis when she was little and Morrow had never had a fire engine – they always had the kind of engine that men had to pull and we had just gotten this new red fire engine this day.  This is the day that Virginia and I decided to go up in the graveyard.  Alice Mae (Mother’s older sister) and her friend, Jeanette, had told us that there was a monument up there that had six screws in it and had two hands pictured on it.  If you took those six screws out and you looked in there, those two hands would be shaking up and down, up and down.  This was the day Virginia and I decided to investigate and see if the hands were there.  We got one screw out and they let loose with that new fire engine siren and like to scared us to death and we took down over that hill.  I’d run a little ways then I’d wait for Virginia, then I’d run a little….and to this day there’s one screw missing in that monument.  I don’t think anybody ever did look in and see if the hands were there.

My daughter and I made a trip to Morrow on July 16, 2016, to visit the old cemetery.  We visited my grandfather’s grave and remembered how Mother considered the cemetery her personal playground because her father was buried there.

Morrow_GeorgeMount

The monument with the clasping hands is a big beautiful piece.

Morrow_hands01

We checked the “shaking hands” portion of the monument and the screws were all in place on this side….

Morrow_hands03

…but one is still missing from the back plate.

Morrow_hands04

Then one day Alice Mae and Jeanette – we never were allowed in the house, Alice Mae was a very good little housekeeper – she’d clean house and she wouldn’t let us in.  So, one day she told us, she said, “Come in the house”, her and her friend said.  We went in and everything was real dark and all of a sudden they jumped up from behind the davenport, they had two of Mom’s sheets on  – Mom would have killed them if she knew they had her sheets – and made like a ghost – like to scared us to death.

Mother StorybBrother Ralph and sister Alice Mae (with her Susie doll)

ca. 1916

One time when we were little and going to school we lived beside a preacher and Mabel (Mother’s younger sister) was little at the time and she called them the “peachie kids”.  We went to school one day and we used to always just go get our lunch and we’d just stand around the table and eat and Mom would always leave us money and we come home and the neighbor next door told us that the preacher’s kids – she looked over there and they were in the house, they were eating our lunch and taking the money.  So, Mom went to the preacher to ask him about it and he said…he got ahold of the kids then and yeah, they had candy and balloons and everything bought with the money and he made them give the balloons and everything to us and he gave Mom back her money but he said it was Mom’s fault because she tempted the kids by leaving money lay out.

MotherStoryA_0002The “peachie” kids

I used to love my grandmother – that was my father’s mother – and I’d go and see her  – oh, just any time I’d walk over and see her – she lived a couple of streets away from us.  But she was a very little woman, would rarely have anything to say.  Lillian reminds me so much of her.  The only thing I can ever remember her saying was – she’d look through those old bifocal glasses and she’d say, “New dress?  Did your mother make it?  Hmmmm.”  On cold winter days she’d have our cousins stop at school and tell us to stop in for dinner and she would have beans and dumplings and all kinds of jellies and relishes and all kinds of things like that – Lillian reminds me of her like that – just every kind of a jelly thing you could think of and oh, we loved that.

Minerva close-upMinerva Alice Hutchinson Mount, Mother’s paternal grandmother

Minerva Ralph HelenMy mother’s grandmother, older brother, Ralph, and mother

Next time, Mother will tell about her big brother, Ralph, and about some mysterious day-before-Thanksgiving visitors.

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My mother’s 100th birthday will be this November (Martha Evelyn Mount, born November 28, 1916, in Morrow, Ohio and passed away on July 31, 1991).  When she was 72 in 1989, she made a taped recording of family stories for both sides of the family.  In her honor, and still incredulous that she sat and dictated all of this into a tape recorder by herself, I’m going to post what she wrote along with pictures whenever possible.  She had a rather rambling, random method and said whatever came to her mind at that moment, punctuated by hearty laughing.   I’ll post the stories in the order she told them and will only edit the posts to keep out anything that might be offensive or embarrassing to other members of the family.

8/89 – Family Stories Tape by Martha Applegate
Transcribed 5/19/01 by Lillian – notes in parenthesis by Lillian

Installment 9

My earliest memories are of Mother telling stories of her wonderful childhood in Morrow, Ohio.  Times were hard:  her mother was widowed with three children and worked in a munitions factory in Kings Mill, Ohio (near where King’s Island amusement park is now).  She remarried and her husband left her when he found out she was pregnant.  She continued to work, leaving the housekeeping to little daughter Alice Mae and the general care of her toddler Mabel to my mother.  Mother always said they grew up like Topsy (the little girl in Uncle Tom’s Cabin) but at least she and Mabel had a lot of fun growing up Topsy-like in the little town of Morrow, Ohio.

Morrow 1910“If you want to go to Morrow, you can not go today,

for the train that goes to Morrow is already on its way.”

Railroad St., Morrow, Ohio – 1910

 

After my father died, Mom had a hard time raising all of us.  She remarried again (Fred Bailey) and when I was five, Mabel was born and, oh, I dearly loved her.  We played together and we had such good times together always.

Mother-Mable-AM-GM

Mother-Mable-AM-GM (2)Martha and Mabel, ca 1929

We used to go swimming every day in the little creek and we’d always go in, in an old dress.  We’d go down and there’d be a mud slide and we could slide right down into the water in the mud, but we’d always ask Alice Mae (Mother’s older sister) first.  Some days we liked to maybe go up and get some clay.  To get the clay we had to go through the grave yard and up the railroad track and around the bend and then come down over the hill where the water trickled and it would make clay.  We would take that home and you could just mold anything out of it, make little dishes and everything and play.  Some days we’d say we’d go to Flat Rock and I’d always put Mabel in my wagon wherever we went and I’d pull Mabel along – I was about 10 and Mabel was about 5.

Then some days we would go up to Irma’s, up the railroad track – Mom took care of her when she was having a baby and we knew her.  Every time we went she would go and she would kill a chicken and she’d have chicken and gravy – oh, and that tasted so good – that fried chicken.  And she’d take us down to the spring house, the milk house, where they set the pails of milk right down in the spring and it would be ice cold – oh, that milk tasted so good!  And she’d do it any time we’d come.

Then one day we were there we were told not to go into the orchard but we did anyway – we went into the orchard and climbed up a tree and we looked down and saw why we weren’t supposed to go in the orchard – there was a great big bull standing right under us.  We had to wait there until her husband could come and get us down.

Irma always liked for us to come because to go to town, to go to Morrow, she had to drive a horse and buggy and she was ashamed of it – nobody drove a horse and buggy in those days – that was 1925 – everybody had a car by that time.  So, she’d tie our wagon on the back and down we’d go over the hill and I’d get to drive the horse through the gate.  Oh, I thought that was wonderful – to drive that old horse down there.

Mabel and I one time we were playing in the graveyard – up there playing with our wagon and we thought we were allowed to go anywhere because my father was buried there and we’d slip in and we’d play cowboy and we’d ride that cannon like a horse and we rolled all the cannon balls down the hill – none of them are left, they’re all gone.  One day the caretaker told us that we weren’t allowed to ride our wagon down the hill and we were very insulted because my father was buried there and we could do anything.  I see they’ve got a sign up there that says NO WAGONS OR BICYCLES.  I think they put that there for us, but that was a long time ago.

mabel-mother-1940sMabel and Martha, ca 1948

Next, time Mother continues her stories about friends and family in her favorite place, Morrow, Ohio.

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My mother’s 100th birthday will be this November (Martha Evelyn Mount, born November 28, 1916, in Morrow, Ohio and passed away on July 31, 1991).  When she was 72 in 1989, she made a taped recording of family stories for both sides of the family.  In her honor, and still incredulous that she sat and dictated all of this into a tape recorder by herself, I’m going to post what she wrote along with pictures whenever possible.  She had a rather rambling, random method and said whatever came to her mind at that moment, punctuated by hearty laughing.   I’ll post the stories in the order she told them and will only edit the posts to keep out anything that might be offensive or embarrassing to other members of the family.

8/89 – Family Stories Tape by Martha Applegate
Transcribed 5/19/01 by Lillian – notes in blue by Lillian

INSTALLMENT 7

Mother continues with her stories of the Applegate family, starting with my great-aunt Anne, John B’s sister; my father’s cousin, Almy; and the sister of my paternal grandmother, Lizzie.

Goldie_LizzieGoldie, wife of Bill Applegate, and my great-aunt Lizzie

Note the black and white dog on the running board

Aunt Anne (sister of John B), she was another one.  She would go into a store – she always took an umbrella with her and she would shoplift.  She got caught two or three times and they had to send her away – I don’t know where they sent her.  But they had to send her away so she wouldn’t be arrested.  But we lived beside her down there on Gotham Place (Cincinnati’s East End) out there during the war when the kids were little.  She had a great big old white dog and some way this white dog did something to the kid across the street from her – didn’t hurt him, just scared him – but every time she’d go down through there walking her white dog, that old man (the boy’s father) would sit on the porch and he’d say, “Oh, hello, Annie – how’s your white dog, how are you,  Annie, how’s your white dog” and he kept that up and kept that up and was tormenting her and pretty soon she said to him, “White dog nothing, you SB, you come down here, I’ll show you a white dog, I’m tired of your hollering at me.”  Well, he got scared of her, actually got scared of her, and he had her arrested and she come down to me, “Oh, Marthy, will you go to court with me?” – they all called me “Marthy” – and I said, “Yeah”, I said, “I’ll go to court with you” and so she got down there and she got up in front of the judge and he said, “Alright, just what did you say to this man?”  And she said, “I told him you big-bellied son-of-a-bitch, you come down here and I’ll….” and he said, “How old are you?” and she said, “72” and he said, “Case dismissed!”

3 pix (2)Aunt Anne, my mother, Grandma Helen

and the big white dog

And she used to sell bootleg beer all the time – in those days everybody made homebrew.  They were all down there – she had a whole gang in her living room and Uncle Jim (James Everett) and all of them was there that day, too, a lot of other people – and every time somebody wanted a drink, she’d go in the bedroom and she’d come out with the drink.  Uncle Jim was wondering where she was getting all this homebrew and he followed her in and she had it in her chamber – in her pot – and was dipping it out of there so nobody would find it – they always had to hide it.  He tore the house up – he like to killed everybody that day.

Almy, she was one of the cousins, and she always drove a Model-T Ford – in those days not many women drove a car.  You had to crank them and she always kept the crank on the seat beside of her and one day she had to come to a stop there as you turn on Wooster Pike going over towards Newtown there by the bridge and some man stepped up to her and said, “I’m going to rob you, I want your money”.  She said, “Rob me nothing, you SB” and she took that crank and beat him over the head with it.

Her husband died and she remarried, married an old man, and she was 65 or so at that time, had already had a heart attack.  She said all her life she always wanted a motorcycle.  She got her a motorcycle with a side car and she put this old man in the side car and they went all the way down to Gatlinburg, down in the mountains.  She said she couldn’t do it after she was dead – she had to do it while she was alive.  If she wanted to fix the roof on her house, she’d tie a rope around her waist and tie a rope around the chimney and she’d fix the roof of her house.

One time when Grandma-up-Dayton (our term for our paternal grandmother who lived in Dayton, Ohio) was with that old Murphy, that old mean Murphy, Lizzie – that’s her sister (Elizabeth Illie) – and Almy (an Applegate cousin) was there visiting and somebody brought in a big basket of pretty tomatoes.  Almy said, “I’ll fix that old Harry Murphy” and she put poison in the biggest tomato and put it right on top and Aunt Lizzie came along and said, “That old Harry Murphy ain’t going to get the biggest tomato this time, I’m going to get it” and she ate it and she like to died.

Aunt Lizzie, that’s Grandma-up-Dayton’s sister, was married to Sam Robbins – now there’s a character for you.  Grandpa, John (B), said he remembered the first night they were married, Lizzie and Sam, they heard a knock on the door, they got up and there stood Aunt Lizzie at the door in a great big fur coat.  Sam, all he ever done was coon hunt and fish and things, and he’d save and make furs and things like that and she had all his furs tucked up underneath that fur coat – she’d left him in the middle of the night.

Old Sam was a fiddle player and he made all his own fiddles.  He’d go out in the woods and pick a certain tree he’d want, he’d make the wood part, all of it.  He played fiddle all over – he played on the radio and everything.  He walked everywhere he went – never rode anywhere – he always walked – he’d go to all the fiddling contests and all that.  My brother and his wife (Ralph and Hazel Mount) said they remember going to his house back in prohibition days when everybody was selling homebrew and they’d have homebrew and baloney sandwiches and Sam would play the fiddle and they’d dance, but all he’d play was “Sally Lost her Petticoat Going to the Ball” and finally everybody’d get so darned mad hearing the same song over and over they’d finally leave.

END OF APPLEGATE INSTALLMENTS

Epilogue:

Although John B. had been a drinker all of his life, he met his match when he married Helen Conover.  She had already lost one husband in the 1918 flu epidemic, leaving her with three children.  She remarried and had that husband desert her when she became pregnant, so when at the age of 55 she met John B, she was in no mood to put up with much out of husbands.  Her strong will and strict rules about having no alcohol in the house, turned John B. into a sober man who rarely took a drink and then only if he could keep it secret from Grandma.  They were together until he died at age 65 in 1945 and Grandma lived on to be 92 when she died in 1978.  

3 pixMy grandparents, John B and Helen Applegate, 1943

My paternal grandmother, Lillian, was the perfect apple-cheeked grandma when I was growing up, baking and gifting us with lovely store-bought clothes.  
DCP03027
Grandma Lillian, ca 1942

In her later years, she married a Pawnee Indian Chief and moved to Pawnee, Oklahoma, where she died in 1968.  She wrote on the back of this picture:  “Lillian – from Grandma, Jan. 29, 1960 – headband was given to me in Pawnee, Oklahoma.  I was adopted by the tribe.”

3 pix (3)

My father gave up his beloved horses to give my sister and me a stable, old-fashioned upbringing.  He was a self-taught electrical engineer and built our first television set, one of the first in the Cincinnati area.  In 1950, he went back to the horse business and was a respected harness horse driver and trainer until his death in 1978.  He died of a heart attack after finishing second in a photo-finish in a race.  The family said he died on the track where he would have wanted to be, but he would have wanted to win the race.

horn75An earlier picture of a winning race for John A and Peter Horn,
the horse my father was driving when he died

This ends Mother’s portion of the tape about the Applegate side of the family and goes over now to her family – “not very exciting”, in her words.  Mother gives a nice description, though, of life in small town Ohio in the 1900s, along with some stories about her ancestors.